Calcium Deficiency: Ways to Cure Calcium Deficiency with The Top 10 calcium Foods, Vitamins and Supplements
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Almost 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the structure of the bones and teeth. Bone calcium is also used as a storage area to release calcium into the bloodstream when it is needed. Calcium is used for nerve transmission, blood clotting, hormone secretion, and muscle contraction. Blood calcium is tightly controlled since it plays so many critical functions including balancing your bodies acid/alkaline body and pH. The body will borrow calcium from the bones as needed, so often that the bones are actually remodeled about every 10 years.
Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
- Tingling fingers
- Muscle cramps
- Poor appetite
- Weak or brittle fingernails
To more severe calcium deficiency symptoms such as:
- Mental confusion
- Skeletal malformations
- And in infants, delayed development
Causes of Calcium Deficiency
There are many factors that can contribute to calcium deficiency. The following are ways in which your calcium levels may be affected:
Aging (Getting Older)
Infants and children absorb as much as 60% of the calcium they consume. But once in adulthood and thereafter, your absorption slowly decreases to about 15-20%. If you’re only absorbing 15-20% of the calcium you are consuming, it’s difficult to be getting enough through diet alone.
Vitamin D Deficient
Vitamin D functions as an important hormone by sending a message to your intestines to increase the absorption of calcium by as much as 80%. So if your vitamin D levels are low, this could be affecting your calcium levels, too. The most accurate vitamin D test is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test. Optimal blood levels of 25OHD are 60-80 nanograms per mL.
A decline in hormone estrogen during menopause causes women to lose bone density more rapidly. Postmenopausal women have about one-tenth the number of estrogen levels present in premenopausal women. The result in lower levels of estrogen means the bones aren’t able to absorb adequate amounts of calcium.
Calcium Deficiency Treatments
When it comes to strong and healthy bones, there are other critical nutrients that need to be taken with calcium for optimal health benefits.
Calcium and vitamin D work together. When you take vitamin D, you increase your body’s ability to effectively absorb calcium. Lara Pizzorno, author of “Your Bones” says that “Less widely known is that vitamin D also boosts the expression of the vitamin K- dependent proteins. So when you take supplemental vitamin D, you are increasing the amount of calcium available in your body and therefore your need for vitamin K…” In other words, vitamin D increases the amount of calcium you absorb, but in turn, also increases your need for vitamin K.
Don’t mix this up with vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 has nothing to do with blood clotting factors. And it is very difficult to get without supplementation. It is not in leafy greens like K1 and is found only in tiny amounts in eggs and cheeses. Its main role is to regulate calcium deposition. Meaning, vitamin K2 cleans calcium deposits from your arteries and deposits it in your bones. Talk about important.
It’s reported that as many of 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient! Deficiency of this mineral affects bone growth, bone fragility, and alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium.
After peak bone mass, which is around age 40, you begin to lose 1% of your total bone mineral density each year. Your absorption of vitamins and minerals also decline as you age. That is why recommendations for dietary intake of calcium are higher if you are age 51 and over.
Calcium recommendations for pregnant women are no different than the recommendations for women who are not pregnant. (Intestinal calcium absorption increases during pregnancy, making recommendations the same)
Best 10 Calcium-Rich Foods to Consume
- Raw Milk
- Kale (cooked)
- Sardines (with bones)
- Yogurt or Kefir
- Bok Choy